[Before you read this: There are so many more people that have been awesome to me this year, and in years past, than there ever have been assholes. That may be why the assholes stand out so much. Being that they stand out, they annoy me greatly. If I've ever fussed at you, but I'm still talking to you about what's going on, don't get paranoid. I've explicitly said to the people I'm talking about, here, that they were pissing me off; this is just me cleaning out my bitch-box. Okay, carry on.]
This isn’t about me being sick, necessarily.
It’s not about side effects, at least not ones that I feel all the time.
It’s about the way people react to me (yeah, I call that a side effect).
Now, I touched on this, before (it appears I just really need an outlet, right now – I didn’t count on the level of stress I’d be feeling): how folks don’t quite know how to react to me when I honestly answer their questions. I expressed that the blank looks and formal responses are frustrating, but that’s a result of me being absolutely tired of having nothing else to tell them, moreso than me being tired of other people.
There’s ONE EXCEPTION to this rule (isn’t there always?), and it’s the Blatant Asshole Response.
You know the type…they’re the people who ask who you are, and ONLY want happy answers. They ONLY want to hear things that make them feel good. Your function on this Earth is to give them what they want, and if you don’t, clearly you’re at fault for any other bad thing that happens to them, that day.
I have family that is SO CLOSE to this position, but they stop themselves before turning into complete jerks. (Their favorite thing to say is, “look to the future!” And I am. Some days, as I said, it’s more difficult than other days. They know this, they’re just trying to help, and I realize that.)
The people who step over the line are usually folks who’ve known me a while, or think they know me because they’ve read my blog.
This blog is not representative of who I am as a whole entity. It’s what I choose to write about, and it’s often the extreme parts of my personality, which are loud and ridiculous and sometimes prone to hyperbole.
What’s the line? It looks something like this: “Man, you must be really happy you got so sick! Now you have something to actually complain about!”
I am a cynical bitch, yes. I have strong opinions, and those opinions include things that have happened to me, things I’ve read, and people I’ve met…including every single person who’s ever commented on my blog. I form an opinion of you based on your word use, what you choose to comment on, and how often you comment. This is not necessarily a bad thing – it’s how my brain works, and yes, it is a large part of my stress (because I’m ALWAYS processing things).
I’ve been this way my whole life. I question everything. I LOUDLY question everything, in fact, which has caused my parents no small amount of amusement and frustration over the years. I’m painfully aware of this, as well. You don’t need to point out that I’m fond of saying, “I don’t like this.” Trust me…I know. I do live here, after all.
The part that REALLY chaps my hide is that these are some of the same people who give me blank stares AFTER asking me how I’m doing. [I've learned to give them a blanket statement (such as, "I'm okay. How are you?" or "Resting today, you?", or even "Meh...how about you?" because I am having a horrible day and just can't bring myself to lie, even for politeness' sake) and turning the conversation on them, since that's what they really want to talk about, usually. Yeah, I can sometimes completely Shanghai a conversation when certain questions are asked, but if I sense I'm talking too much, I will clam up and wait for a signal from the other parties involved. I'm not a total cretin.]
Let’s go back to why I complain, however: I am stressed. I feel terrible a good bit of the time. I have a disease that’s not readily accepted/understood by many people in the freakin’ field of study that I have to turn to for help. It’s basically like having AIDS in 1981 – judged horribly, misunderstood, and overtaken by the homeopathic morons who think you can cure cancer with a heating pad. [Crazy people are really slowing down the progress, here...but Lyme makes you legitimately crazy if you have it long enough, so we're kind of screwed if we don't get something done, soon. Yeah, that's a bitter pill.]
Excuse the hell out of me if I’m frustrated by these things, which ARE MY LIFE.
Get that? I HAVE NO LIFE BECAUSE OF LYME DISEASE. So fuck you very much for trying to force me to conform to YOUR idea of how I should be acting in the face of the scariest and most painful fucking thing I’ve ever experienced.
Yeah, I’m complaining. Get the fuck over it, or stop asking me how the hell I’m doing. WIN-WIN FOR EVERYONE: You don’t have to listen to me complain, and I don’t have to listen to you be an asshole!
Also? When you know something big is about to happen in my life, don’t tell me not to worry. I’m about to have an organ removed, and possibly have another organ modified in a major way (modern medicine is making this possibility a bit easier to swallow, but it’s still scary because my immune system is compromised). I have a mass in my abdomen that my surgeons can’t identify, and it STILL might be cancer, because it’s growing at an alarming rate.
If you can’t even imagine, a little bit, how utterly frustrating it is to have two surgeons at a TEACHING HOSPITAL (as in, THEY teach other surgeons) unable to tell you just what the hell is growing inside their area of interest (yay, i’m a zebra! again!), then I seriously have nothing else to say to you.
Everyone else, carry on. I’m legitimately happy to answer questions, even if they’re worded awkwardly. I’d much rather have people who want clarification than those who are willfully ignorant AND decide to take out their personal issues on me.
In fact, if you want to ask me ANYTHING (I mean, don’t be an asshole, obviously), go here. I will answer you honestly. As you can see by what’s already there, I will answer any question, even if I’m not exactly friendly about it. Also, it’ll give me something to do while I’m in my recliner and doped up on painkillers. WIN-WIN. :-D